Back home in Mumbai after a long and storied trip to Jamshedpur, the Mumbai City FC side are looking forward to taking on the NorthEast United FC side at the Mumbai Football Arena. While the team continues to take things one step at a time, ace forward Lallianzuala Chhangte believes that the title race and the team’s fortunes are very much in their own hands.

Chhangte, who scored the crucial equaliser for the Mumbai City FC side in Jamshedpur during the 1-1 draw, said, “It's very, very close and three or four teams are in the race for the title. But the good thing is that we have still to play Odisha FC and Mohun Bagan. I think it's still in our hands. So, it's all about giving everything what we've got on and off the field, and taking it one game at a time, which will be crucial. And now we start with the game against NorthEast United FC.”

NorthEast United FC might be coming off a defeat and a draw in their last couple of games, and have only picked up 20 points in their 18 games, but coach Petr Kratky is not about to take them lightly. Speaking on the eve of the match, Kratky said, “NorthEast United is a quality side and they will push for a top 6 spot, and if they win (against Mumbai City FC) it will help them. We know about their ability and what is at stake and as always, our approach does not change. We have to be aware and prepare in the best possible way. We will try to do the best we can once we step onto the field.”

Injuries and suspensions have been a source of concern for the Islanders, however, there is positive news for the team. Jorge Pereyra Díaz, who had been suspended for 4 games initially, had picked up a knock and illness as well, but is on his way back.

“Look, it's very unusual for a coach to be missing 3 strikers in the same time, so it's difficult, but we have to deal with that. And again, we are lucky, we have some quality players who can step in and do the job as well. Díaz has trained yesterday as well, and we will take a late call on his availability for the next game,” Kratky explained.

The coach also touched upon the fact that the side has seen quite a few changes in the playing XI since he took over, noting that everyone deserves a chance.

“We have a very good squad and it is a big one too and everyone deserves a chance too. So, I'll try to give everyone an opportunity, but also the short turnarounds do play a role in it. So, we have to be smart about how we rotate the players because obviously we must protect players, but also win. So, trying to find the balance - this is the hardest part of the job. To give them (players) the opportunity, at the right times and right places, so they excel and then they're pushing hard as well in training. So, I'm very happy with the character and attitude,” he signed off.